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City Focused on Recycling

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LAWTON, Okla_Each year on April 22nd 175 countries and millions of the world's citizens celebrate Earth Day and work towards creating a cleaner planet and the city of Lawton is no different. In fact, the entire month of April, the city works to re-focus residents on cleaning up the town.

And they're kicking it off with the annual Trash-Off Day. It will be held this Saturday in the McMahon Auditorium parking lot. The Trash-Off isn't so much a day to finish Spring Cleaning, it's a celebration of a cleaner town and Earth.

Tony Griffith of Lawton's Neighborhood Services Department said in years past the focus has just been on cleaning up and hauling things to the dump, but he said the time has come to focus on recycling and the importance of becoming a greener community.

"It used to just be about looking good. It has a bigger impact than looking good, " said Tony Griffith, Neighborhood Services Supervisor. In fact, he said it is a matter of life or death.

Often we think to haul anything and everything to the dump, but the fact is, a lot of items can be recycled and many must be disposed of in special ways, otherwise they'll start to wreak havoc on our health.

"A lot of those items have carcinogens. Cancer causing agents that probably wouldn't kill you instantly like a bullet but over time it will get you sick, " Griffith said.

The extra step it takes to dispose of a battery properly or sort your papers and plastics may seem like a chore, but Griffith said it's likely that special touch will add years to your life.

"How long do you want to live what kind of quality of life do you want? What kind of life do you want for your children? " said Griffith.

He said Lawton is doing well. And over the past few years the amount of trash we've created as a community has gone down, but he said we must remain diligent in our efforts.

"I understand the price that we are going to pay if we don't take control of how we handle our waste, " said Griffith.

Griffith said the city of Lawton is working on partnering with a professional company to implement a curbside recycling program. For now he urges the community to donate and recycle as many of your unwanted goods as possible.

The Trash-Off event is this Saturday, at the McMahon Auditorium parking lot, from 8 to 3.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer call 580-581-3467.

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